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28 Days in Alcohol and Drug Treatment is Not a Cure

I was ‘surfing the web,’ a totally passé expression, the other day, and since I seem to be on a kick of checking out celebrities who have pursued admission into drug treatment programs I thought I’d just do a search entitled ‘drug addicted celebrities’ to see what would appear. The amount of hits I got back? In a word: Endless.

From pictures of celebrities from A-list to D-list appeared on the screen. I wasn’t really into searching through each picture because I’ve seen most of their pictures scattered across the news, so I clicked back and scrolled the list again. My main focus was to find celebrities who could be role models of sobriety, and what I’ve found is that celebrities who deal with addiction are an awful lot like every other addict out there. They relapse just as much, but they do it under the watchful eye of the press and their fans. Sad but true.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a public following who wishes you well and at the same time can’t wait to see you fall. As their addictions grow, due to alcohol or drug addiction, we watch from the sidelines and wait to see what crazy public stunt they will do next. Then suddenly they check themselves into a drug detox or an alcohol and drug treatment program to find a ‘cure,’ some not understanding that they need to change their behaviors in order to remain sober.

So they clean up, look great, shed or gain weight depending on the situation and then jump right back in after a few glamour shots to show they are doing well, ready for work, and ready to be a useful part of the Hollywood Machine. It’s a vicious cycle and one that I am sure is alluring to these celebrities. They want fame but know no other way to get it other than what others tell them, or what they’ve seen. I think some feel if they are out of the spot light they will be forgotten. What’s that expression? ‘You’re nothing if they aren’t talking about you.”

It seems to me that there are drug rehab treatment centers that brush them through the process; dust’em off and send back out on to the street without really working to instill the truth of alcoholism and drug addiction. The twenty-eight days is only the beginning. What these addicts have is a chronic condition they will need to manage for their life-time.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We all need to be responsible for our actions – we have to be. It is up to each of us, regardless of what our condition is, alcoholism, drug addiction, diabetes, HIV, to take care of ourselves. What I have trouble with is the media preying on these vulnerable people because it makes them money. These celebrities are addicts, vulnerable.

Can’t we spend more of our time focusing on the powerful people who are creating havoc and hurting larger groups of people – possibly even generations? Or even better yet, look for role models who send a clear and positive message because, ‘but for the grace of God there go I.’

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